Friday, August 21, 2009

Charles Krauthammer: "The Truth About Death Counseling"

Is the "death panel" real, or not?

A powerful op-ed about Section 1233 of H.R. 3200, from Charles Krauthammer in the WaPo this morning.

Here's his conclusion:

So why get Medicare to pay the doctor to do the counseling? Because we know that if this white-coated authority whose chosen vocation is curing and healing is the one opening your mind to hospice and palliative care, we've nudged you ever so slightly toward letting go.

It's not an outrage. It's surely not a death panel. But it is subtle pressure applied by society through your doctor. And when you include it in a health-care reform whose major objective is to bend the cost curve downward, you have to be a fool or a knave to deny that it's intended to gently point the patient in a certain direction, toward the corner of the sickroom where stands a ghostly figure, scythe in hand, offering release.

1 comment:

  1. I thought it was voluntary? Citizens who go today pay out of pocket for the service. Whether today or tomorrow its voluntary. Its a benefit that one can choose to use. Does medicare MANDATE colon screening to help prevent bowel cancer??? Is it because if fewer people die earlier they wind up living too long and costing to much money as they live longer?

    Universal government healthcare will eventually happen. Women could not vote in 1789 but eventually it happened....universal healthcare like Canada, France, Germany or some variation will also eventually happen.